Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zoo & River of Lights

Yesterday was a wonderful day as a family.
After a big breakfast of my awesome homemade waffles we cleaned up and the house and headed to the zoo in the afternoon.
It was great to have no schedule and no where to be.
We had yet to realized the extent of Madeleine's extreme fear of animals.
(We just thought it was the big cow that stands outside the Chick-Fil-A, but we were wrong!)
See the picture of that giraffe? He was so close!
The zoo keepers were cleaning up leaves and he was right there snacking on the leftovers.
M lost her mind over that giraffe, and the zebras, and the Rhinos, and the Lions.
Apparently, they need to be behind glass for her to enjoy them.


Then we had some bird trauma.
We were lucky enough to be there during feeding time and saw some vultures (I believe) eating rats (eeeek!), it was pretty amazing. They have these ravens that climb on their back to try and get at their food. Noelle was standing there holding onto the fence when one of the ravens came and landed right where her sweet little fingers were. Scared the daylights out of both of us!
Lastly, as we were on our way out Noelle and Daddy stopped at the potty. While we were waiting, one of the many peacocks that wonder around the zoo grounds started to approach us. I could not believe how close it was getting, then it was only inches away, then it cocked it's head to the side and nipped Madeleine's finger! I guess it was after the leftover crackers still stuck there. I had to make a fool out of myself...flailing...yelling...jumping to get the thing to scatter off.
Then we headed over to the Botanical Gardens for the annual "River of Lights."
Amazing!!! Any and every animal you could imagine was lit up. And they moved! Butterflies flew, elephants spit water, mountain lions ran across the top of fences.
The only draw back? We forgot gloves. Brrrrrr!!!

2 Years

Two years ago our sweet Madeleine Grace joined our family the day before Thanksgiving. The moment she was born our eyes met and our souls spoke to each other. When Noelle saw her, it was a blissful reunion. She knew exactly who she was and was so happy to have her back.

Madeleine has brought love and happiness beyond measure to her family. And maybe a moment or two of exasperation. ;)

Here's some things going on in Madeleine's world:

  • Talking and talking and talking. Although, a translated is usually required.
  • Loves to eat. And I mean EAT. She goes at each meal as if it's her last.
  • I know no other child who is such a dog lover. One is in our future. Yikes.
  • Loves to call people. She has a short very list: Auntie, Grandma and recently added: Auntie M. Once in a while Daddy.
  • She is a skypeing fool.
  • Madeleine is a favorite in nursery at church. I am told it's because she's the only one who does not cry for Mommy & Daddy. Atta girl!
  • As with most siblings they have a love/hate relationship. I wish it were heavier on the love side of things.
  • Madeleine has no idea she is a baby. For real. She points to children older than her and says, "Oh! A baby!" She thinks there is nothing off limits to her. As in finding a stool climbing on the counter and waving large knives around.
  • Mess Maker should be her nickname. Blueberries, make-up, sprinkles, milk, lotion, cheese, clothes, toothpaste, shampoo, you name it...she's messed it.
  • Loves the potty. YEA!
  • Great napper, if it were not for her 2-3 hour naps, I fear I would not survive.
  • Our little snuggle bug, kissy girl, high fiver, and hugger.
  • Loves naming body parts, her own and others. Fingers, toes, teeth, eyes, oh my!

I love you so much Madeleine.

Thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy. Watching you learn and grow each day is my greatest joy. I am so excited to see what the future brings us.

Her birthday was a fun day spent at home recovering from Thanksgiving. We had yummy german pancakes in the morning, played during the day, and after nap time lots of friends came over for cupcakes. She loved every minute of it. Even the cake wreck Mommy made. It tasted way better than it looked.

video

Thanksgiving Love

We had to cancel our trip to Idaho to celebrate Thanksgiving because the weather was terrible. And I must admit I was kind of excited! As much fun as it is to go, I knew the drive would be difficult and was looking forward to spending a holiday at home relaxing.
As soon as our friends the Ehats found out we were staying home, we got to planning! We planned an amazing meal and had such a great time at their house. They are great hosts.
The kids had so much fun together playing and making some turkeys out of apples & marshmallows and the grown-ups had some fun of their own playing card games.
Talk about FAT and HAPPY!

Our little family is blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Love My Babies...

I love their soft skin, silky hair, sweet fingers & toes, and chewable legs.

I love watching their minds work.
And their natural abilities/instincts develop.


I love watching them concentrate, learn and be creative.

I love watching them interact and build a bond only sisters can share.
I love being the one who gets to explore the world with them and the way their eyes light up when they learn.
I love seeing them forge meaningful friendships.
I love being the one who comes to school activities.
She felt so special, happy and proud that her Mommy and sister were there.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Look!

...it's a Madeleine sandwich!

Although you can't tell by this picture. She LOVED it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ginger Snaps & Cider

I thought I was sort of excited to have a real 'winter.'

But...maybe it's not as great as I thought.

When I get Noelle from the Bus or run to the store, I often just throw on a pair of flip flops and don't think about a coat.

But then....dang! It's c-c-c-cold!

This afternoon we warmed up after school by making ginger snaps and warm cider.

What could be better?

I just love my girl.
She is so dang fun and has a zest for life that would make anyone jealous.
Don't you love her noodle necklace?
Noelle thinks school is the best, best, best thing ever.
Oh, how I hope this continues!
I am excited when she gets off the bus to see what fun projects she brings home.
Goodness, I need a life!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Best Week...

Finally...after months of anticipation...it was time for REFUGIO!

After Ballet on Wednesday we hit the road and headed HOME.

Lucky for us California was in the middle of a heat wave and that meant: fan-tas-tic weather!

After check in, we worked super fast, got camp set up and headed for the water.


Noelle was in Heaven.
It did great things for my soul to watch her.



We stayed there as long as we could.

The next morning was gorgeous again and we headed back to the beach.

Madeleine is not the beach bum her sister is...she's more about the food.





Friday after showers and we climbed in the car and headed North.
We stopped along the way and hiked to a hidden waterfall.
Loved it!


Then we arrived at our real destination. YUM!

Just as we got back from Dinner Auntie & Unc were there.

Everyone loved having them.

Unc's little snuggle bug...

We had all kinds of visitors...

Noelle was so excited to see her cousin, Marissa.

She kept hugging her while saying, "I really did missed her a lot."

Auntie M and the girls had a blast...there was a lot of tickling!

The biggest hit of the campground was the Lena.
Anytime you looked at this dog, she was getting snuggled.
Madeleine chose to sit on her, though.

Noelle loved sneaking up and chasing these little stinkers.



Here's some proof that I was there. :)
Lots of friends came to visit.
We felt so loved!


Danny brought a rocket and over two days we had fun sending that thing up.
It went so high!

A time or two someone did not get their way and a few tears were shed.
What else is new!?!


Before we knew it, Monday arrived and we had to pack it all up.
Yuck!
The kids had a blast playing while the big people worked all morning.


On one of our morning beach walks this toy washed up on the beach and from that time on Noelle and Buzz were best buds.

This post does not even show a fraction of all the fun that we had.
But, I knew I had to get something posted.
Blogger is so irritating and it takes so long.
The Lorenzens were fabulous camping partners.
Card games, camp fires, amazing meals, long talks, it was the best.
A big thanks to Auntie M, The Meldrums, The Keils, The Wildes,
and Ruthie for making the trek to come visit.
Next year we're going to get a group site if it kills me!
Then we'll all be able to camp together.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Walk

Last night we went down to the Bosque with the Bredhauers.

The fall colors were just so beautiful!

Brittan and Noelle had the best time running, running, and running.

Oh, and picking leaves.

And some more running.

The babies were mostly happy to be snuggled in their strollers eating candy corn.

Everyone slept great last night! ;)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let Halloween Begin...

Baking & Decorating Cookies.
Seriously yummy.
Costume bowling party.
Seriously fun.
Noelle's school party was today,
I was sad that I could not be here to see her off
....to make sure her costume was all set,
her hair was done,
her popcorn balls were ready....
Because I was here
A totally awesome photography workshop.
Possibly even better than everything I learned
about my camera and what I can do with it?
I need glasses!
YEP!
I need to get my eyes checked.
ASAP!
I've never been able to figure out what people are talking
about when they refer to metering when looking through your view finder
because I never realized there were real numbers in there.
Embarrassing and pathetic.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Solo

So happy to have the bath to herself.
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Even if it means taking getting poop all over yourself.
And your bedding.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Spider..

Someone came home from school today with a new version of an old favorite...

video

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Potty Talk

Noelle: "Why is there a little potty in the bathroom?

Mommy: "For Madeleine to use."

Noelle: "For big kids, too!"

Mommy: "Naw! You're too big."

Noelle: "Oh."

Mommy: "Did you already use it?"

Noelle: "Er. Uh. Yeeee-ah???"

Love her to pieces!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ballerina

Miss Carrie let the Mamas come to class and see what our little ballerinas have been learning.

She is such an amazing teacher.

I cannot believe what she has this group of 4 year olds doing.

I couldn't get enough!

video

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Is Falling...

I must admit it's exciting to live in a place that
actually experiences the season, 'Fall.'
Yesterday as we were pulling out of the driveway Noelle burst out,
"Look at the tree! The leaves are falling like Ms. Rebecca said!"
(They're learning about fall and leaves at school.)
The Fall weather here is fabulous.
Cool evenings, crisp mornings, and sunshine-y 70 degree afternoons.
Next week this is supposed to change but we're enjoying it for now.
We've started baking yumming treats and cooking with the oven instead of the BBQ. ;) One of our favorite things has been these apples. Yes, it took me 4 hours to drive up there and wait in line but we've gone through 25 pounds of them in a matter of a couple weeks. I thought I'd be canning and making sauce but we've enjoyed eating them too much. Next year we know to get more!


We've been enjoying family nights at our favorite park before it starts getting dark early. These girls are so much dang fun.


Dipping caramel apples with friends.
Yummy, gooey, sticky...fun.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Safely

I was running behind getting out the door for ballet this morning. I was frantically trying to dry my hair because we errands to run immediately after. I heard the beep that indicates a door has been opened but thought it was the girls going into the garage. I heard it again and thought it was them coming back in. Then all of the sudden I had this strange feeling and started to run.

I got out of the house and to the sidewalk, looked to the left, and I saw them on the corner. Noelle was prompted before I was. She started yelling, "Mommy! She was in the middle of the street!" My heart stopped beating.

We ALWAYS have the front door locked, for this very reason. I have no idea what happened. All I have done all morning is thank my Heavenly Father for keeping her safe and for sending her sister out to get her. People drive too fast down that street. I refuse to think about what could have happened.

Madeleine Grace, I love you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Never a Dull Moment..

Whether fun or not there is never a dull moment in a home with little ones. Something is always going on, someone always hungry, a chore needs to be done, personalities need entertaining. I feel the busier the better (to a degree). When we're home alone too much we all get a little crazy. Here are some recent haps:

We had a few families from our ward over for dinner.
We moved the coffee table into the hallway for the kids.
Noelle and Daddy set the table, she was pleased as punch with herself.
It was a serious Mexican food fiesta!


There were 8 adults and 11 kids.
It was like a circus and a zoo rolled into one.
Seriously fun!




If Madeleine was not right by me it's because she was eating.
Big surprise? Um, no.
Little Brittan sure enjoyed himself, too.
Homemade ice cream!


Saturday Daddy had a big surprise in store for me.
He'd gotten a refund from an overpaid bill and then
he added a little more and we went SHOPPING!
I have been beyond desperate for clothes.
I dread getting ready in the morning.
Old Navy and the Gap had some great sales,
I got a lot of stuff and feel so much better.
Of course, we had to ride the carousel.


Sunday evening the girls were going crazy and so was I.
I knew we needed some action and fast!
Funny how getting in our jammies and
getting out the popcorn maker out changes everything.
Popcorn! Butter! Parmesan Cheese!
Everyone was immediately happy.


And of course there Madeleine's total obsession with
wearing every one's clothes and shoes.
All day long I get her dressed again and pick up
everything she has strewn around the house.
Here she was digging through her sister's
dirty clothes. *sigh*

(Sorry about the HUGE pictures. By the time I realized I was not going to start over!)